With the parody that is Malaysian politics coming to your friendly social media channels in the near future, it is hard to ignore that elections are coming up.
I had an interesting chat with a few Malaysians here in Auckland after a night of whiskey and loud music with a lot of middle aged Filipino ladies and Caucasian men crowding the dance floor. Don’t ask me how or why but that was where we had our farewell for two close friends before they left for Malaysia the next day.
We were having supper and Bryan brought up the topic about elections and how he wouldn’t be voting for it. He also thought that Malaysians abroad should not be allowed to vote. It just so happened that I was contemplating on whether I should vote or not. When he brought this up I urged him to further explain his statement.
“If I was living in Malaysia then yes, I would vote. But I am here in New Zealand and my family is there in Malaysia. If I vote and the opposition wins and everything is peaceful and no one gets hurt then that is good. But what happens if it does not turn out well and we end up having a national crisis similiar to what is happening to Syria and Eygpt? How do we know voting against the current government will build a better Malaysia? Maybe it will get worse, who knows? I am not there to live with the consequences but my family will have to live through it. If I was in Malaysia and I am there to suffer the consequences because of my vote then yes, I will vote but I am not so no, I will not do it.”
What an interesting perspective. It never occurred to me that there would be a possibility that something so drastic could happen if the current government is toppled. Truly, will it bring more good then bad if there was change and how do we know this? How can we make sure a better Malaysia emerges without having total chaos and anarchy reigning over our heads for years to come. I wouldn’t want Malaysia to be another Burma.
However, it does beg the question of, if Malaysians back home are fighting for change are we not as compatriots responsible to help them? Regardless of the fact that we do not work nor live in the country anymore. I have lived overseas for almost 10 years but for the life of me I cannot let go of Malaysia. You can take the girl out of the kampung but you cannot take the kampung out of the girl.
I come from a Chinese family BUT my extended family is sino-kadazan (now known as kadazan dusun murut) and so my upbringing has been the best of both worlds and public holidays. I have family members who are bumis and I can tell you now the grass is definitely not greener on their side. I see both sides suffering and I can see where democracy has failed. Money that should have gone to the people of Malaysia go into the pockets of those who need it least, trust in public figures and the police force is nil.
With the help of social media platforms and the fact that more Malaysians have access to the internet. Malaysians can go online and see what other countries are up to, more and more people know that what is currently happening to our country is wrong. Corruption and bribery is not the norm, free trade is not a dream, incorruptible public figures is not a joke or a fantasy, top government officials are not deity to be feared and worshipped. Instead they are open to scrutiny and criticism (more so then the ordinary citizen) and can easily lose their position if the public has an outrage over their misconducts, yes, citizens of other developed countries are allowed to moan and voice their grievances without having the fear or getting arrested and sent to a brainwashing camp and women are an asset to the development of a country not chattel to be distributed, used and abused. That is why it is very important that the government does review the amendment of the Evidence Act of section 114A. To know why please click here: For Many Malaysians, Section 114A Sucks In The Age of Social Media
With all this mind how can I not vote in the coming elections. With the coming of change, even with the threat of violence is it not better to try then to not try at all. If my fellow Malaysians are fighting for change should I stand by and watch or jump into the foray? Most importantly, is it not as much my battle as it is theirs?